Gov’t seeks to repurpose $50 million in loans for COVID-19 fight

As it attempts to mitigate the fiscal fallout from the COVID-19 outbreak, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Peter Turnquest said the government is seeking to repurpose existing approved loans from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) to offset the financial burden of the pandemic.

Turnquest said the country could potentially benefit from $50 million through this process.

“What we are doing [is] that we are taking advantage of an offer to repurpose up to 10 percent of outstanding undrawn balances on existing approved loans to repurpose those funds for the COVID fight and response,” he said.

Turnquest said the government will also consider an offer from the IDB to finance regional projects to support a co-ordinated COVID-19 response.

The project would make more than $7 million in non-reimbursable resources to Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) under the 2020 Call for Proposals of the Regional Public Goods (RPG) initiative to finance proposals for regional co-operation and policy co-ordination in the framework of LAC’s response to the pandemic.

“This had not been presented to us as yet but we will look into it. It appears that it needs to be a joint project involving several countries,” he said.

A new deadline for submitting proposals has been set for May 15, 2020.

Immediately following Hurricane Dorian last year, the government secured a $100 million contingent line of credit from the IDB.

In total, The Bahamas has $470 million in approved loans from the IDB.

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